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To kick off the upcoming anniversary year, the 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER wows with an eye-catching design inspired by solar flares. The GWG shares the look with the MT-G, also part of the new “Flare Red” series. Still, this G-SHOCK does a few things differently….

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40 years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER Video Review

40 years of G-SHOCK

In 1983, I held my first watch in my hands – a Casio G-SHOCK DW-5000C-1A. This was not only a very special milestone for me, but also for the Japanese watch manufacturer Casio. Since then, the G-SHOCK brand has become one of the most important pillars in the company and has repeatedly brought exciting new products to the market over the decades. 

Now the 40th anniversary is coming up. Understandably, they don’t miss the opportunity to release interesting special models that are supposed to appeal to longtime fans of the brand. Casio has obviously spared no expense or effort. Even an own logo was commissioned and implemented by the well-known graphic designer Eric Haze. Two models, which can definitely be called a statement, make the beginning. Casio G-SHOCK MTG-B3000FR-1AER and Casio G-SHOCK GWG-2040FR-1AER are the admittedly somewhat bulky names of the two novelties. Simpler is the name of the new series, in which the two watches fit in. “Flare Red”, in my opinion, hits the nail on the head. Because instead of simply taking an old design from the 80s or 90s out of the drawer, then dusting it off and finally reissuing it, Casio prefers to rely on new ideas. 

The 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER – an old acquaintance, right?

40 Jahre G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER Review
Photo © 2022 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

How about a solar flare on the bezel, for example? This might have been the designers’ thought process. Both “Flare Red” models are real eye-catchers. While the MTG-B3000FR-1AER is based on the upscale MT-G series, the GWG-2040FR-1AER takes to the fresh air. Those in the know also know that the GWG is known by another name: Mudmaster. During the summer, I briefly tested the Casio G-SHOCK GWG-2000-1A3ER and 1A5ER each. “The toughest G-SHOCK” – that was my conclusion. Whether the “Flare Red” edition is also convincing on the test bench and whether the surcharge is worth it, you can read in this second big watch review. Part 1 takes a closer look at the Casio G-SHOCK MTG-B3000FR-1AER. 

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Part 2 – Casio G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER

My first impression on the wrist

40 Jahre G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER Review
Photo © 2022 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

Compared to the Casio G-SHOCK MTG-B3000FR-1AER, the GWG is the bolder and more unreasonable model that just shines with youthfulness. A wide bracelet, massive pushers on all sides of the case and the screwed case structure make it clear what this model is supposed to be capable of. At times, the bold numerals and red and white hour hand look almost cartoon-like. The fact that the 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER always seems a bit overdone in many aspects is just fine by me. More G-SHOCK in the design is actually hardly possible. If Darth Vader had a watch on his wrist, it would look exactly like this. 

With the MT-G in my left hand and the GWG in my right, I first notice how slender the former watch is. This much is said: if you already thought the MTG-B3000FR-1AER was big, you won’t be able to stop being amazed here. 54.4 by 61.2 by 16.1 millimeters are made for the outdoors. Even with gloves on, the most remote pusher can be operated without any problems. Nevertheless, it has to be said: you have to like such huge watches. To our surprise, the weight turns out to be all the lighter. At 112 grams, the new GWG is even lighter than the MT-G.

Details like the easy-to-read display at 6 o’clock and the “MUD RESIST” lettering on the strap make it clear in which terrain a GWG feels at home. Likewise, if you’ve been around previous Mudmaster watches, you’ll feel right at home. Externally, the Casio G-SHOCK GWG-2040FR-1AER resembles the watches I know, if we ignore the color scheme. I wonder if the devil is in the details.

The case: even better than the MT-G?

Photo © 2022 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

In contrast to the unequal MT-G sister, no stainless steel was used for the case of the 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER. This material is reserved for the Metal-Twisted G-SHOCKS. Instead, the case is made of resin. The resin was reinforced with carbon fibers during production. This saves weight and makes the GWG even more stable. Perfect conditions for anyone with serious ambitions to take the watch into the wilderness. The new “Flare Red” GWG is also equipped for use in mud, sand and salt water. The case is completely sealed. Grains of dust cannot penetrate. 

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The fact that G-SHOCK watches survive falls relatively unscathed is not only sufficiently well known, but also part of the brand identity. However, the 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER takes this characteristic to the extreme. The internal module is enclosed by so-called a Gel, a silicone mixture. You really have to work hard to break this watch!

Rounding out the good quality impression is a carbon bezel and sapphire crystal on the front. The watch crystal is scratch resistant and should stand up well to contact with rock walls, scrub or coral reefs. And speaking of diving – that goes to a depth of 200 meters with the GWG-2040FR-1AER. For most of us, that should be enough. The anniversary marks a logo engraving on the caseback, designed by Eric Haze. His graphics will adorn all anniversary models.

A short interim conclusion: in the “duel” with the MTG-B3000FR-1AER, the GWG has a slight edge in the case category. It is a bit more robust, lighter and withstands more stress. 

Outdoor functions for adventure

Photo © 2022 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

Of course, the “Flare Red” GWG also uses Casio’s Tough Solar System. The technology is predestined for an outdoor watch. Daylight is a reliable source of energy in nature. Via solar cells in the dial, it is converted into energy that can be used by the battery (designated CTL1616) to maintain all important functions. The GWG stores excess energy in a battery for “bad times”. A charge indicator on the display tells you if the battery is empty. 

The two “Flare Red” models perhaps have the biggest differences when it comes to functions. To get things straight: unlike the MT-G, the 40 years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER can only be operated via Smart Accesstechnology, not via smartphone. But why rely on a smartphone’s battery in the wild, you might ask. Ultimately, each of you has to decide for yourself whether using an app makes sense for him or her. 

The functions themselves are noticeably geared towards outdoor activities. Or when do you ever need a barometer in everyday life? Experienced mountaineers, on the other hand, will appreciate it, just like the integrated altimeter. Temperatures can be measured by the torch-red G-SHOCK GWG in the range of -10 to +60 degrees Celsius. And that’s not the end of the long list by any means. A digital compass proves to be useful. Radio signal reception ensures that the wristwatch is always accurately set in the most important time zones. Timer, alarms, world time and stop function complete the great offer. 

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Dial and bracelet of the 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER

40 Jahre G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER Review
Photo © 2022 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

In the dark, a slight twist of the wrist is enough to activate the backlight of the dial. In addition, the hands are coated with fluorescent paint and glow in the dark if they come into contact with light irradiation beforehand. On the other hand, the orange and red surfaces of the case glow much longer. Here, a phosphorescent material has been incorporated.

The strap is made of resin, which makes it durable and robust. Four stars and the words “SINCE 1983” were engraved on the clasp. 

My conclusion about the 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER

40 Jahre G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER Review
Photo © 2022 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

For the 40th G-SHOCK anniversary, Casio starts with two identically colored models, which could not be more differently aligned. This raises the question for buyers: MT-G or GWG? Which is better? As so often, the answer is: it depends. There is no real winner at the end of this two-part test. Both G-SHOCK watches have their special orientation and raison d’être. For the active outdoor adventurer, the 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER is certainly the right choice. The abundance of functions proves not to be a collection of nice gimmicks, but a combination of useful tools for ambitious adventure travel in any climatic zones. 

Photo © 2022 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

Unbreakable, always reliable and very versatile. Perhaps the GWG is the G-SHOCK in the lineup that most lives up to the legacy of the 1983 DW-5000C-1A. However, in my opinion, the more suitable everyday watch with Bluetooth connectivity, app control and the more moderate shapes is the Casio G-SHOCK MTG-B3000FR-1AER. However, both watches offer great materials and excellent workmanship. 

That leaves only the price comparison. The 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER costs 1,150.00 euros. This saves a whopping 150 Euros compared to the MT-G. Both watches will be available starting November 2. 

More about the 40 Years G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER and the MTG-B3000FR-1AER 

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Technical Details

NameCasio G-SHOCK Flare Red GWG-2040FR-1AER

Reference numberGWG-2040FR-1AER

BrandCasio

Categorydigital watches / outdoor watches

Price from1,150.00 euros

Warranty2 years

Case Materialcarbon / Resin

Diameter54.40 mm x 61.20 mm

High16.10 mm

Watch GlassSapphire Crystal

Watch TypeSolar

Waterproof20 bar (200 m / 660 ft)

Movement NameCasio Tough Solar System

FunctionsAlarm / altimeter / compass / date / day date / GMT / hour / Minute / second

Dialblack, red

Indicesdashes, arabic numerals

Special Featuresdigital display / LED indices

BezelCarbon / orange

Bracelet Colorblack

Bracelet MaterialResin

Claspcarbon / pin buckle